Anthony Spencer has been fined $12,500 for a helmet-to-helmet hit on Michael Vick from Sunday's game.
Watch the replay. NBC ran it enough times during the game, but if you recorded the game, jump to an hour and 25 minutes into the broadcast, just before the two-minute warning of the first half.
Michael Vick is in the shotgun, flanked to his left by LeSean Mcoy. Vick takes the deepest drops in the league, as it gives him extra time to dissect the potential running lanes, and helps with his reads. If you remember, he really didn't read defenses early in his career. DeSean Jackson came in motion from the left split end position to just offset the offensive line, then ran a drag route across the field. Anthony Spencer comes around the right tackle with minimal resistance, and gets a clean shot at Vick on what appears to be a planned three-step-drop playcall. With Vick's speed, the extra depth from the shotgun formation and an underneath drag route- there is literally no time for Spencer to adjust his angle if he wants to make an impact on the play.
Orlando Scandrick, who was playing slot corner on the play took responsibility for Jackson on the cross, and was slanting down towards Jackson. Terence Newman, the only defender on the right side, had completely vacated the screen as Jeremy Maclin ran what appears (without coaches tape) to be a go route. Ball was lined up very deep initially and didn't make it into the screen. It's safe to assume that if Vick was able to lead DeSean away from Scandrick with a precise pass, Jackson would have been able to get at least 15 yards on the play, and we all saw how he is able to run away from our entire team.
So what exactly does the NFL want a player to do? Spencer made the play that had to be made to help his team.
What really upset me was what happened earlier in the contest. Spencer made a clean hit as Vick scrambled to the sideline. He clearly hit him while Vick had a foot in-bounds, yet the NBC team actually said he should have been penalized because it was close. Ummm, what? The problem is, I think the referees then went on the lookout.; especially because the Eagles have been appealing to the league that Vick takes hits that, if it was another quarterback, would result in a penalty.
Here's Vick's own take:
On whether he’s worried about how many hits he can take:
“No, it really don’t cross my mind because the next day I wake up and I’m not sore. I’m back in the weight room lifting weights. I don’t know what that’s a credit to, but hopefully I can continue to feel this way. It’s not like I’m getting 15 or 16 times a game … They actually look worse than what they are.”
All defensive players are dealing with this, but as we all know, our Cowboys seem to draw the ire of the referees more often than other teams. We've earned the reputation with our penalty issues the last few seasons.
Maybe I'm off-base, and other fans think that the hit was worth a fine. What's your take?